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What Dieters and Weight Watchers Need To Know About Juicing
Conduct an internet search comparing fruit juice and soda and you’ll find many arguments stating that neither one of them is particularly good for you. Although this isn’t exactly true, there is some basis for concern. The sweetness of fruit comes from the simple sugars, fructose and glucose. These simple sugars are also found in soda. The difference is that when you eat a piece of fruit the sugar is accompanied by a lot of vitamins and nutrients, and the fiber in the fruit slows digestion so that the sugar is released into your system more slowly. Soda, on the other hand, has no nutritional benefit, and causes a quick spike in blood sugar levels.
The sugar in fruits also contributes to the calorie content of the juice and should be taken into consideration if you are counting calories or on a weight loss plan.
Vegetable juices don’t have that same sugar content as fruits, so their calorie level is not as high but you still miss out on the benefit of fiber, so you don’t want to use juices as a replacement for healthy portions of fresh vegetables. Store-bought vegetables juices are typically loaded with sodium, and should be avoided.
Juicing does not mean that you must subsist only on squeezed fruits and vegetable pulp. Rather one incorporates fresh fruit and vegetable juices into an already well-balanced diet, which is structured to provide essential nutrients while also keeping calorie intake in check.
Juices may suppress food cravings and helps keep acidity in check
In her book, Juicing for Life, Cherie Calbom states that many food cravings can be alleviated by eating certain fruits and vegetables or their juices. For example, if you are craving chocolate, she suggests the fruit or juice of chromium-rich apples. If you crave peanut butter, try some carrot juice instead. Cherie also claims that because vegetable juice is low in sugar, it can help regulate your blood sugar level which may help curb your appetite. It’s an interesting theory, and you may want to try it with your cravings, but remember that the sugar spike from fruit juice can sometimes lead to a craving for more sweets, and this is the opposite of what you want.
Fresh fruits and vegetables also help reduce body acidity, which increases with consumption of proteins, grains, and sugars. Tobacco, coffee, alcohol, and stress can also raise acidity levels. High acidity is believed to contribute to of a number of health issues including weight gain, diabetes, kidney stones, digestion problems, and more. Regulating your body’s pH level is important and all-natural, fresh juices have alkalizing on the body.
Benefits offered by different fruit juices
- Fresh juice is a great source of live enzymes which can aid in digestion and fat burning. Beet, spinach, kale, and broccoli are rich in these beneficial enzymes.
- Dr. Nicholas Perricone calls wheatgrass and barley grass, “superfoods”, because they are packed with antioxidants and vitamins. The best way to benefit from these grasses is via juicing.
- Pomegranate juice is often hailed as the healthiest of all juices for its high antioxidant content which may protect against some cancers and heart disease.
- Cucumber juice is high in sulfur and silicon which may help reduce acne.
- Lemon juice is a great detoxifier and excellent for the skin. However avoid making juice out of unripe lemons or those with green skins.
Making delicious juices and smoothies at home
Juice makers are available at relatively cheap prices. A juice machine and fresh fruits and vegetables are all you need to make your homemade juices and smoothies. Choose fruits and vegetables that are fresh, and display healthy coloring with few blemishes. Check for bruises or tears in the flesh. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating or juicing.
When making lemon or grapefruit juice, remove the seeds before juicing as they can produce a bitter taste, and cut the vegetable and fruits into small before placing in the juicer. Consume your fresh juice within a few hours and don’t store it for longer than a day, as bacteria can start to grow.
Add ice cubes or shavings if you prefer a colder, more refreshing juice. The best liquid base for fruit smoothies is low-fat milk or yogurt. Read the Healthy Way Diet Manual to learn why raw honey or blackstrap molasses can add even more nutritional value to your shakes.